Lukas Spielhausen

Artist: Lucas Cranach the Elder (German, Kronach 1472–1553 Weimar)

Date: 1532

Medium: Oil and gold on beech

Dimensions: 20 x 14 3/8 in. (50.8 x 36.5 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Bequest of Gula V. Hirschland, 1980

Accession Number: 1981.57.1


The sitter, who wears the black-and-yellow striped dress of high-ranking members of the electoral court of Saxony, may be identified by the initials LS on the signet ring as Lukas Spielhausen, who was by 1531 a lawyer in the state judicial curia under Johann, the Constant. His age of approximately thirty-nine in 1532, the date of the painting, is compatible with the sitter’s appearance. The lively pattern of colors and interplay of curves in the costume and the contrast between the man’s tightly bundled hair and his expansively projecting mustache and beard give this portrait a striking visual impact.